Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work. — Thich Nhat Hanh
Whether you are looking for more peace or less stress in your life, meditation could be exactly what you need. A common misconception about meditation is that it must be done in a special way, or you must sit in a special way or a special position. The fact is, all you have to do is place yourself in a position that is most comfortable for you and focus on your breath. There are many techniques for effective meditation but the same four elements exist in almost all of them.
1. A quiet atmosphere, free from disturbance
2. A comfortable position but not lying down
3. Emptying your mind of all thoughts and see yourself letting them go like releasing a balloon
4. Dwelling in your mind on the idea of peace and harmony
Relief from mental and emotional stress can most effectively occur through meditation. Once you start out it is important that you stay with it, you may not notice the benefits right away, but the more you practice the easier it will become to quiet the mind, and get into the state of relaxation. Telling yourself not to think will only produce the opposite effect; just let your thoughts float on by and go back to focusing on the breath.
Begin by practicing for just five minutes per day. You can even set a timer if you like, and as you start to get the hang of it you can increase the time to as long as you feel comfortable and relaxed. Even if you feel like you are not getting much initially from the meditations, don’t give up. Be grateful that you took the time to sit down and practice. The effects may not be obvious at first, but in time you will be glad you started.
Meditation is essentially a practice in focus. It is really the art of drawing your mind to the present moment and being with what is, right now. Meditation practices teach you how to be around distractions without being carried away. The longer you practice, the more you will notice your ability to keep your mind on the current task at hand, rather than watching your mind jump from emails you have received to who you are going to have dinner with tomorrow and so on. This focus will dramatically improve your ability to function at work, to drive, to communicate – pretty much everything in your life can be improved with increased focus.
Another big advantage of Meditation is that it leads you to self-love. By setting aside time each day where you are going to sit and be with yourself, there is a good chance that all of your doubts and fears about yourself are going to come up. Then you will start to connect with your true essence and increase your awareness of your heart of love and compassion. It helps you to stop judging yourself so harshly. By raising this awareness, you realize that no one else can take the place of loving you better than yourself.
I urge you to give meditation a try with an open mind. The same way that we go to sleep each night to restore our physical energy, a daily dose of meditation will do wonders for you in terms of restoring your mental and emotional energy. Have fun with it! Remember it’s about relaxing and letting go of those thoughts that are causing a great deal of stress for you! Take time to meditate and let the natural healing take place.